From a young age, Mitchell Rosenberg always knew that he wanted to help people. When he was younger, he envisioned himself pursuing that idea while working at the McDonalds drive through stand. As he got older, however, he realized he could combine his interests in entertainment and political science to encourage political participation and education among younger generations of America who were hungry to break the status quo. From his experiences working on the Hillary Clinton campaign to working for Governor Gavin Newsom of California, the recent Chapman University graduate believes adamantly in the power of voting, but also understands that politics are, well, complicated.
Queue Simplified: an Instagram account that produces bipartisan 15-90 second videos on various political issues. Simplified was created from the desire to fix the persistent issue of young people not voting. Rosenberg sees the greatest deterrence from voting being a lack of knowledge. Simplified fixes this while keeping information entertaining and understandable.
“How do we empower the next generation of leaders? How do we empower just anybody, honestly, from any age range, and in an unbiased way,” Rosenberg said.
With over 60,000 views per video and almost 2,000 Instagram followers, Rosenberg’s idea has taken off and now consists of a team of 15 who are passionate about bringing politics to people in an easily formatted way. Simplified videos cover a wide range of topics from Medicare For All to COVID-19 Testing. They even have a more lighthearted segment called “Can you pass the U.S Citizenship Test” featuring celebrity guests like Aubrey Plaza.
Rosenberg has been pleasantly surprised with the positive response and rapid growing success Simplified has experienced after posting its first video in mid-April. From friends reposting on their Instagram accounts, to people telling him directly how beneficial Simplified has been, Rosenberg is hopeful that this platform will lead to something even bigger.
“Yes, politics is complicated. There’s no doubt about it, but it doesn’t have to be inaccessible.”
In light of George Floyd’s death and the protests that have followed, Simplified has paused its normal programming to focus on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and educating its followers on discrimination and other pressing issues that Black Americans experience on a daily basis.
“We’re [Simplified] here to uplift Black voices and learn from those experiences. The more we can uplift those voices and stories and use them to educate our viewers, the better off our society can be,” Rosenberg said.
Simplified has already published an educational video on how to be Anti-Racist which you can find on their Instagram.
While Rosenberg is unsure where Simplified will go, he hopes that this grassroots project will lead to potential funding in the future and he wants to take it as far as it can go.
“I’m going to take this as far as it takes me. I had one person call me and said, ‘I just watched your episode on the census and I just filled out the census right after because you taught me how important it was’… that is exactly what we’re trying to do,” Rosenberg said. “We’re not out there to make a quick buck or anything. We’re just out there to do a public service.”